John Barbirolli

John Barbirolli
Sir John Barbirolli, CH (2 December 1899 – 29 July 1970), né Giovanni Battista Barbirolli, was a British conductor and cellist. He is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from dissolution in 1943 and conducted for the rest of his life. Earlier in his career he was Arturo Toscanini's successor as music director of the New York Philharmonic, serving from 1936 to 1943. He was also chief conductor of the Houston Symphony from 1961 to 1967, and was a guest conductor of many other orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, with all of which he made recordings.

Born in London of Italian and French parentage, Barbirolli grew up in a family of professional musicians. After starting out as a cellist, he was given the chance to conduct, from 1926 with the British National Opera Company, and then with Covent Garden's touring company. On taking up the conductorship of the Hallé he had less opportunity to work in the opera house, but in the 1950s he conducted productions of works by Verdi, Wagner, Gluck, and Puccini at Covent Garden with such success that he was invited to become the company's permanent musical director, an invitation he declined. Late in his career he made several recordings of operas, of which his 1967 set of Puccini's Madama Butterfly for EMI is probably the best known.

Both in the concert hall and on record, Barbirolli was particularly associated with the music of English composers such as Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams. His interpretations of other late romantic composers, such as Mahler and Sibelius, as well as of earlier classical composers, including Schubert, are also still admired.
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John Barbirolli

John Barbirolli

Sir John Barbirolli, CH (2 December 1899 – 29 July 1970), né Giovanni Battista Barbirolli, was a British conductor and cellist. He is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from dissolution in 1943 and conducted for the rest of his life. Earlier in his career he was Arturo Toscanini's successor as music director of the New York Philharmonic, serving from 1936 to 1943. He was also chief cond...
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10 albums
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BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9 in D minor (original version)

BBC broadcast, Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Total duration: 57:43

Hallé Orchestra
BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra  

Sir John Barbirolli
, conductor


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ELGAR Symphony No. 2
ELGAR Enigma Variations
Recorded in 1954 and 1956
Total duration: 79:38

The Hallé Orchestra
conductor Sir John Barbirolli

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CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2
R
AVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
SAINT-SAËNS
Piano Concerto No. 4

Studio recordings, 1935 & 1939
Total duration: 71:43

Alfred Cortot, piano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

Unnamed Orchestras

Charles Munch, 
conductor

John Barbirolli, conductor

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TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto

Recorded in 1937
Total duration: 31:05

Jascha Heifetz, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra -
conducted by John Barbirolli

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MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27

Recorded in 1934
Duration 31:03"

Artur Schnabel, piano
London Symphony Orchestra,
Conductor: John Barbirolli